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    PM Morawiecki calls on President Zelensky to expedite exhumations in Ukraine

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has expressed his hopes for the speedy exhumation of Polish victims buried in Ukraine during his recent interview with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In their discussion, historical issues were also addressed. Morawiecki emphasized the importance of fulfilling their demand for the exhumation process to take place in May and June, and he expressed optimism regarding President Zelensky’s response to their expectations.

    Last November, the Freedom and Democracy Foundation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Ukrainian authorities had agreed to allow Polish specialists to participate in search and exhumation efforts to uncover the graves of Poles murdered by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) in Ukraine. The Ukrainian side officially informed Polish officials that search and recovery operations involving Polish experts would be possible on Ukrainian territory. This came after a ban on searching for and exhuming the remains of Polish victims in Ukraine had been imposed by Ukrainian authorities in the spring of 2017, following the removal of a UPA monument in Hruszowice, Podkarpacie, in April 2017. Despite talks between Poland and Ukraine in October of the same year to explore the possibility of resuming search operations, led by Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage Piotr Gliński and Deputy President of the Institute of National Remembrance Krzysztof Szwagrzyk, no breakthrough was achieved.

    Tensions escalated in 2018 when the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance accused Polish archaeologists of improperly conducting search operations for the remains of UPA members buried in the Hruszowice cemetery.

    Recently, President Zelensky and the Ukrainian nation were awarded the Charlemagne Prize in Aachen, Germany, in recognition of their defense of not only their own country but also Europe and European values. Prime Minister Morawiecki attended the ceremony, further highlighting the significance of the bilateral relationship between Poland and Ukraine.

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